Gangtok, May 4: The Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has demanded tribal status for eleven communities in the state.
"The state government has been been doing everything possible to secure Constitutional recognition of the 11 left out communities as Scheduled Tribes in view of their historical background," Chamling said yesterday at a summit for Tribal Status, 2018 organised by the Eleven Indigenous Ethnic Communities of Sikkim (EIECOS) and others.
He has been corresponding with the president, prime minister and other union ministers to press for inclusion of Gurung, Mangar, Rai, Sunwar, Mukhia, Jogi, Thami, Yakha,
Bahun, Chettri and Newar in the ST list, the chief minister said.
He quoted from a report by a Committee headed by Prof A C Sinha of the North-East Hill University (NEHU) highlighting ethnographic and historical facts for grant of tribal status to these eleven communities of Sikkim.
But, he said, the proposal was shot down by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs after the Registrar General of India observed that the proposal could not be supported as the
ethnographic report did not show any significant primitive cultural traits in the communities.
The state government did not lose hope on the issue and constituted a Commission under the chairmanship of Prof B K Roy Burman, a noted anthropologist in 2005, and on the basis of its report submitted in 2008 another proposal to the Centre but it had not been accepted till date, he said.
The state government has again constituted a committee of experts headed by T N Sharma, Chairman of the Sikkim Commission for Backward Classes, to look into the viability of grant of tribal status to these eleven communities, he said.